Disney expands inclusive CP efforts

From its first ears with adjustable straps to costumes for kids in wheelchairs, why the House of Mouse is rolling out new adaptive apparel and roleplay offerings.
October 22, 2020

Disney is focusing on inclusive apparel with the first-ever adjustable Mickey Mouse ears. Part of the Wishes Come True Blue collection, these ears feature adaptable straps (rather than a stiff headband) that make them comfortable for all children, including those with accessibility needs and medical devices. The range is available for purchase online today. 

This offering is the most recent in a raft of adaptive products from the House of Mouse. In August, Disney launched a range of roleplay items designed for fans who use wheelchairs or have other accessibility needs. Products included wheelchair cover sets inspired by films like Cinderella and The Incredibles that are built with stiff felt support bars and tabs for easy attachment.

“The wheelchair covers allowed us an opportunity to create something that brings fans deeper into the story,” says Jenifer DeSofi, SVP of product creation for Disney consumer products, games and publishing. “A child who loves Cinderella can now also have the experience of riding in her magic carriage to fully transform into the character.”

The costumes, meanwhile, included flaps for tube access, openings that allow for front entry and roomier leg circumference as well as longer skirt lengths to make them wheelchair-friendly. Disney partnered with Disguise on the range, which is available online for US$49.99

Earlier this month, the company also bowed a line of sensory-friendly apparel. The range of shirts features flat seams and no tags to avoid irritation, widened necklines for easier dressing and reversible styles. Additional shirts featuring new characters will be available online in December starting at US$18.99.

“We want to be at the forefront of creating diverse and inclusive products,” DeSofi says. “[Doing so] expands our reach, relevance and impact with communities and fans around the world.”

The focus on costumes, however, comes as uncertainty around the pandemic and lockdowns increases. Disguise, a segment of Jakks Pacific, saw its net sales drop 38% in Q2 2020 due to retailers’ uncertainty around the impact COVID-19 will have on Halloween sales and Jakks’ decision to scale back shipments to retailers with elevated credit risk.

Disney, for its part, is encouraging families to plan home-based Halloween activities. The Disney Parks Blog features a dedicated Halloween page featuring activity sheets, costume inspiration, makeup tutorials, decorating tips and DIY ideas inspired by Disney Parks attractions.

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